“New York City became a much safer place in the past 12 years — unless you’re the owner of an iPhone or iPad,” Alison Fox reports for The Wall Street Journal. “While the city saw dramatic decreases in most major crimes during the tenure of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, one category has remained nearly unchanged: grand larcenies.”
“One driving force, experts and police said, is thieves snatching cellphones and electronic devices — especially Apple products. That type of crime is usually classified as grand larceny in the fourth degree, experts said,” Fox reports. “Many of the thefts happen on public transportation, where most people are buried in their devices and aren’t paying attention to their surroundings, said Joseph Giacalone, a retired New York Police Department detective. ‘It’s easy pickings,’ he said. The number of those crimes reported to police decreased about 1% when comparing 2002 figures to preliminary 2013 figures, according to data provided by the NYPD… The number of grand larcenies has steadily increased each year since 2010, the data show.”
“Nationwide, grand larcenies are decreasing: There was a nearly 13% drop in the crime comparing 2002 and 2012 figures compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” Fox reports. “‘You’d have a spike in crime when some new thing came along: Michael Jordan sneakers or leather jackets… Walkmans, a new technology,’ said Eugene O’Donnell, a former NYPD officer who lectures at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.”
“In 2013, Apple products made up more than 18% of all grand larcenies—that is more than 8,000 devices, according to police. In 2002, there were 25 grand larcenies of Apple products, [NYC] police said,” Fox reports. “Many people charged with fourth degree grand larceny usually don’t see jail time; they work with prosecutors and agree to plead guilty to lesser crimes, said Steve Banks, chief attorney for The Legal Aid Society. In 2012, about 64% of the cases resulted in the defendant pleading to a lesser charge or receiving a dismissal, according to New York state Division of Criminal Justice Services data.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Again, iPhones don’t steal iPhones. People steal iPhones. iPhones aren’t the problem. People are the problem. If there were no iPhones, criminals would simply steal something else – just like they did/do with expensive sneakers and purses.
Also, if grand larceny has dropped nearly 13% nationwide, but only 1% (preliminary figures) in NYC since 2002, then, logically, the problem lies not with Apple products (which are certainly well-represented nationwide), but with New York City.
Putting the issue of morality or the lack thereof aside, how about at least punishing the criminals to the point where it hurts them and therefore dissuades them and others like them from attempting to steal other people’s property in the first place?
We know it’s easier to blame the maker of a popular item than to properly do your job, but the crime statistics plainly show that NYC is too lax, too accommodating to these criminals, and is failing in grand larceny mitigation versus the rest of the country as a whole.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Jersey_Trader” for the heads up.]
New York City Council considers pawn shop bill to fight surging iPhone thefts – November 20, 2013
Attorneys General for New York and San Francisco strongly urge iPhone and iPad users to download iOS 7 – September 19, 2013
S.F. district attorney optimistic over Apple, Samsung progress on anti-theft tech for smartphones – July 23, 2013
U.S. State and federal governments test Apple’s iOS 7 activation lock feature – July 18, 2013
Apple reveals iOS 7 theft deterrent feature ‘Activation Lock’ ahead of gov’t meeting on crime – June 10, 2013
New York City crime is up and Mayor Bloomberg blames Apple iPhone thieves – December 28, 2012
Apple product thefts in New York City outpace rise in overall crime – September 25, 2012